Written By Shidoshi
Published: April 11, 2012
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Liga Privada Number 9
Ligas are truly in a league of their own when it comes to the cigar world.  Created by Drew Estates – famously known for their line of infused “ACID”
cigars, the Liga is something special on its own as it was created specifically for the company’s President, Steve Saka.  As detailed on StogieReview.
com: “During the creation of this cigar, 10 starting blends were created, then expanded to 4 unique blends within each starting blend (a total of 40
blends).  Sanka didn’t find what he was looking for until they got to blend #9 (after 32 different cigars)”.  That fact alone really impresses me because
the amount of time and work that went in to finding the perfect blend for the President of a prestigious cigar company really makes you feel that
special attention was paid in the development and creation of this cigar and that, for me, allows me to savor it that much more.  I’ve had a Liga No. 9
before and remember it as an excellent smoke.  I’m actually very excited to be reviewing this one today because it is the cigar I picked out to celebrate
my recent engagement to my now fiancé.  In fact, the engagement photos we had taken had pictured the ring sitting atop a Liga Privada No. 9 cigar
box.  How’s that for classy?

Pre-Smoke Analysis
This is just a magnificent cigar in look, feel, aroma and construction.  It is a dark and oily Oscuro wrapper that is velvety smooth.  Packed tight and
firm, there are no noticeable soft spots and the wrap is damn near flawless.  It has a perfect double-cap at the head and nice bunching at the foot.
Indeed, this cigar looks as if it had been hand-rolled for the President himself.  The aroma off of the wrapper has absorbed the cedar of my humidor
very well and there’s a faint hint of sweetness and spiciness present at the foot.  It is smooth and quite alluring on the senses.

The First Third
The clip on the head was very easy and presented no fraying.  Because of the tightness of the roll, I expected the draw would be a little tight as well,
but I’m happy to say that is not at all the case and the smoke is pulling quite smoothly and easily.  I decided to light this cigar differently than most by
using a cedar spill, but because of the texture and oiliness of the wrapper, I had to follow up with a butane torch to get a full burn going.

The Liga is right away going to hit you hard in the senses.  This is most certainly a full-bodied cigar – but for those aficionados out there looking for
something special, this is just what you’re looking for.  Flavors and aromas are strong yet sweet.  Very subtle nuances dance on the palate and thick
white smoke lingers long enough for each draw to impress you with something new.  The flavor is a bit fruity, but still smoky and rustic.  I am picking
up on some chocolate/roasted cocoa notes as well, but they’re very subtle and perfectly balanced.  There is a fairly even burn around the rim and it is
just an absolute pleasure to sit back and enjoy.

The Second Third
Strength kicks up a little bit, but just enough to not be overwhelming.  I’m being careful not to breathe the smoke in too deeply through my nose
because it does have the potential to kick you in the boo boo a little.  The burn is still very even and hasn’t needed any correction.  The ash has been
strong beyond an inch and a half and needed a good knock against the ashtray to break it off.  The thick, creamy smoke is coating the tongue nicely
but doesn’t leave a stale or bitter taste in the mouth.

Burning Out
The last little bit is full of flavor and the strength really kicks into high gear now.  It started to die out on me a little bit, but I knocked off the ash and
torched it up again and didn’t have any more problems after that.  I may have let it burn on its own a little too long.  The smoke is still rich and creamy.  
More experienced cigar smokers will be fine with the heaviness of this cigar at this stage, but it’s not a bad idea to have a good beverage on hand just
to clean the plate a little.  All the smokey, syrupy flavors really come together here and bless the palate with a very unique and satisfying taste.  

Final Thoughts
Overall, this cigar remains one of my favorites and I reviewed it for that reason; it is a cigar worth sharing with others.  I’ve tried a few of the ACID
cigars from Drew Estate, but the Liga is by far my favorite and one worthy of lighting up for a special occasion.  That being said, it is a cigar that may
not appeal to those who are looking for something a little lighter and smoother.  It is robust and full of flavor and a little on the strong side.  However, it
burns nice and slow and eases you into its more complex flavors and aromas.  Some might get a strong buzz as they finish up the last third of it, but
that’s partly what makes it what it is.  Truly a magnificent cigar in every category and well worth the price.

Liked It?  Immensely.

Buy It Again?  Most certainly.

Recommend It?  100 percent.
For The Fans, By The Fans.  Look Beyond The Mainstream.
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Dimensions: 6” x 52 (Belicoso)
Price:  $10.00
Burn Time: 2 hours
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf (ligero)
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Tobacco: Honduran & Dominican
Purchased at:  Montecristo House of Cigar (Powell, Ohio – www.houseofcigar.net)
Shidoshi is a local Columbus musician,
photographer, artist, digital designer
and cigar aficionado. He is the owner
of Fatal Halo Media and is a loyal OOTB
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